Canadian Underwriter

2018 Outlook: Silvy Wright, President, CEO Northbridge Financial Corporation

January 3, 2018   by Silvy Wright

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With digital innovation, customers are extracting more value from their insurance partners — and this will only continue to ramp up in 2018.

Insurtech startups raised $985 million in 2017 Q2 alone; investments in startups have increased by 36% over the prior year. Insurtechs may be viewed as industry disruptors, but they are necessary allies for insurers and brokers in gaining competitive advantage. New digital solutions are transforming the approach to helping customers mitigate their risks, providing them with meaningful service and connecting with them on matters of importance to them. The end result? Both the insurance advisor and provider are able to provide greater customer value in a very engaging way.

How insurance companies are re-imagining the claims process is a great example. They have started to see the benefits that mobile technology can bring, such as real-time communication and greater transparency for the customer.

Helping to prevent claims from happening in the first place is another opportunity to add value through digital tools. Whether through connected monitoring devices or thermal imaging of equipment to prevent and reduce risk, insurance partners can not only offer a safer environment for their customers, but also take the opportunity to embed these tools within their insurance processes to help lower overall costs.

Customer education is also being taken to the next level through the use of artificial intelligence. Chatbots are a prime example, allowing customers to have their questions answered in real time, 24-7, while gathering insight on what matters most to them in the process.

New digital innovations will continue to create exciting opportunities for the insurance industry, but leveraging these solutions to complement the expertise and trust customers rely on will be the winning formula.